The Most Misused Stories in the Bible by Eric J. Bargerhuff, PhD

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We all heard those great stories from the Bible when we were kids; we know all about Cain and Abel, Jonah and the whale, and the Three Wise Men. Okay, so we know the stories, but do we really know what God is trying to tell us through these stories?

Many times, we don’t actually know the full story, because Scripture is often taken out of context, intentionally or not. We also live in a completely different culture than the biblical writers did, so we may not fully comprehend the subtleties of language and cultural contexts that shaped the lessons contained in the Word. Our traditions and societal differences can skew our understanding of the Bible, if we only take the bits and pieces we know and love out of their context.

But thanks to teachers like Eric Bargerhuff, we can be shown and/or reminded of the Truth behind some of the most popular stories in God’s Word. In The Most Misused Stories in the Bible: Surprising Ways Popular Bible Stories are Misunderstood, Bargerhuff does a fantastic job of placing the stories back into their context–biblically, culturally, and historically–to help seekers of the Truth understand the Bible more deeply.

A few years ago, I got Bargerhuff’s The Most Misused Verses in the Bible and really appreciated his expository style and easy-to-read information. His latest is just as good and would be a wonderful tool for pastors, Bible study leaders, and students of the Word alike.

If you want to have a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the Word of God, I suggest you grab a copy of The Most Misused Stories in the Bible. And happy learning!

Many thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for the digital copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own!! ­čÖé

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James: Faith Becomes Real by Carole Arceneaux

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The day I found out my Bible study was going to be moving into the Book of James, I happened to see this commentary in the list of books available for review. I was so excited! Unfortunately, however, I did not find James: Faith Becomes Real to be the resource I’d hope it would be.

I really dislike giving a negative review, but I also have to be honest. Arceneaux’s commentary does have moments where it is lovely and insightful. Yet, so much of the book made me feel as if she was just trying to fill the page, to make her word count, wandering on tangents that I couldn’t seem to┬áreconcile to the verse she was referencing. And between grammatical errors and often confusing word choice, I found myself having to reread sentences or paragraphs or even entire chapters in order to decipher what she was actually trying to say.

This could be a good reference for studying the Book of James, but I feel it would need quite a bit of reworking and cleaning to get to that point. So, I would not recommend this book at this time. Bummer.

I received a free copy of this book for review purposes from the BookLook Blogger Review program. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my very own!